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Stir of Echoes

Lisa : It doesn't surprise me that there's another woman. Of course, the fact that she's dead gives one pause.

Ah yes, with sentences like that you know you're in for something loopy. And, a lot of times, loopy is good.

David Koepp's "Stir Of Echoes" stars Kevin Bacon as hard-working Chicago man Tom Witzky, pretty much content with his life and in a happy enough marriage. His faithful but somewhat depressed wife Maggie worries about him, and their son Jake, who talks to an invisible friend. It's an imaginary friend... or is it?

Creepy, eh? Wait, it gets better. Anyway, Tom is your basic man's man, set in his views and closed off to what he doesn't understand and doesn't want to understand. So at a party Maggie's sister Lisa (Illeana Douglas), who just HAPPENS to be a wiccan decides to hypnotize him for fun. It was probably the booze but Tom reluctantly accepts. What he sees in his trance is a little disturbing to him (and quite cool to look at), and from this point on he never seems to snap out of it. He starts having horrific visions, strange daydreams and weird experiences, which are all seemingly random... or are they?

Oooh, I'm trembling! Aren't you! But one night Jake says something that REALLY upsets his babysitter... and we learn the disturbing tale of a girl who used to live on their very street, but is now missing... or is she dead? And if so... has she come back?

Stop, it's boggling my mind! Really it is! Well, imagine that as a great build-up. Unfortunately once you have a great build-up there's nowhere to go but down. As the film goes into a sinister plot involving the newly-gifted Kevin Bacon and his son's strange visitor (which I won't give away for the shock value), "Stir Of Echoes" veers from the mind-blowingly brilliant to the expectedly dreary as quick as you can say "Shining Ripoff". While the story of a deceased neighbourhood teen is interesting, it's a shame that in a film with such potential I found myself pondering the spelling of "echoes" during some bits. I'd have to say that although it's great to see the visions and threatening situations, for every part that you're enthralled there's five minutes of Kevin Bacon digging in his back garden. He's crazy, of course... or is he?

The MYSTERY of it all! Well, to be honest I found "Stir Of Echoes" entertaining, even if it wasn't the greatest supernatural thriller lately (there's this other film that I can't think of... sixth something... damn, it made a lot of sense, whatever it was). It's got the best use of the Rolling Stone's "Paint It Black" of any film, and thankfully Kevin Bacon is back to great acting and doesn't feel to need to show off his... bacon, like he did in the incredibly cool "Wild Things" and incredibly tepid "Hollow Man". Go rent it, it's a fairly good piece of scare, and not bad direction for David Koepp, who's usually a screenwriter. So, all in all, you probably won't be disappointed... or will you?

AAGH! The suspense is KILLING me!

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